Exeter officer and ex-wife accused of murdering him had dysfunctional relationship: Attorney

On Wednesday, Erika Sandoval's attorney explained to jurors that his client and Daniel Green had a complex and highly dysfunctional relationship.

Dan Chambers said it was one where Green misused his authority as an Exeter police officer to psychologically abuse Sandoval for years, to the point where he dehumanized her.

Dan Chambers said Green would bully her, spy on her, isolate her from her friends, and threaten to take their child away or put her in jail.

"You're going to jail," Green can be heard saying to Sandoval in a recording. "You're going to jail, I swear to God..."

"When you have all the evidence and you sift through this dysfunctional mess and you listen to what the psychology of abuse is, you will reach only one conclusion," Chambers told jurors. "And that is you will find Ms. Sandoval not guilty of these charges."

Prosecutors say Sandoval shot Green to death while he was on the toilet sometime after noon on February 6, 2015.

RELATED: Trial begins for woman accused of killing Exeter police officer Daniel Green

Chambers claimed that Exeter Police knew about Green and Sandoval's abusive relationship, which included a couple of domestic violence incidents, but failed to take any action.

The couple divorced in 2012, but had a son together after that.

Chambers said Exeter Police was also aware of Green's mental health problems, but didn't act on that either.

Sgt. Brett Inglehart said Green once mentioned thoughts of suicide to him, which he reported to his superiors.

Inglehart was the first to find Green dead after he didn't show up for work on time.

"He was lying in the bathtub, deceased," Inglehart said.

Tulare County Sheriff's Lt. Chris Galvez was involved in the booking process of Sandoval the next day-where she said Sandoval held a pair of scissors to her chest and asked Galvez to kill her.

"When she asked me to kill her, she said, 'I'll act like I'm going for your gun so you can say I did that'."

Dr. Gary Walter also testified on Wednesday.

He performed Green's autopsy four days after his death.

He found four gunshot wounds on Green's body, but said the only fatal wound was the shot to the forehead.

The trial will continue on Thursday morning.

Sandoval faces the death penalty if convicted of the charges.

Correction: The story that aired on ABC30 included a graphic that listed Lt. Galvez's employer as Exeter Police. She works for the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.
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